Ethnic Groups


In humanity, the diversity of traits and cultures is an element present worldwide. In the beginning, ethnic groups were known as races because only the physical characteristics of a community of people with characteristic features were taken into account. However, unlike the term race, the ethnic group shares a history, culture, language, customs , as well as other elements that characterize it.  

What are ethnic groups?

Ethnic groups are the different groups that make up humanity, which have different physical and cultural features that distinguish them from others. The members that make up ethnic groups are identified by their genetic information , which determines their particular physical traits such as hair color, eye color, height and facial features, and also by their cultural information that reflects the identity of their people. It is important not to confuse ethnic group with race , because race is limited to morphological and physical characteristics, not including the cultural aspect.


Not all ethnic groups belong to a certain territory. Indeed, there are ethnic groups that are nomads , such as the gypsies, who move through different territories with their customs and traditions.


The countries are made up of many ethnic groups that originate from each nation and others that may arrive as a consequence of social mobility, as a result of migration events between nations.

  • Definition of ethnic groups
  • Source
  • Types
  • Classification
  • Characteristics
  • Importance
  • Examples of ethnic groups by country

Definition of ethnic groups

Ethnic groups can be defined as communities of people who share an identity determined by their history , language, customs and common physical features that characterize them and distinguish them from other communities.


The origin of ethnic groups occurs at the historical level. Since the formation of nomadic and sedentary groups, ethnic groups appear, determining their particular characteristics by the geographical environment in which they live and the values ​​and beliefs in which they work.

The origin of ethnic groups is shaped mainly by the environment and nature in which they live because this element shapes the physical characteristics, as well as the language, the type of food, the means of production that can be found in that geographical area. This explains why the ethnic groups that developed on the coasts do not have the same physical or cultural beliefs as the groups that formed in mountains or plains.


In the world there are several types of ethnic groups such as:

  • Celts.
  • Armenians
  • The Tuareg
  • The hunza
  • The Jews
    • The Ashkenazi.
    • The Sephardim.
    • The Misrajim.
  • The kalash
  • The Korowai
  • The Arawaks
  • The karen
  • The Kalbelias or gypsies of the Thar
  • Berbers
  • The Maasai
  • The urus
  • The bribri
  • The wayúu or guajiros
  • The Lusitanians
  • The vadoma
  • The piranhas
  • The bodi
  • The awa.


Ethnic groups can be classified using three indicators which are: language, culture and genetics .

Language determines the group of people worldwide who speak a common language in minority groups or in great civilizations. An example can be seen in the aboriginal tribes of America .

Culture is a key element in determining the origin of an ethnic group and its evolution over time. An example of this could be the ethnic group of the Celts.

Genetics presents physical traits in the individuals of the members of an ethnic group that differentiate it from another such as skin color, eye size or shape, skin color, physical build or size. This type of classification was called race, but it is important to recognize that this element of classification is never isolated from a sociocultural factor. An example of this classification occurs between the physical characteristics of the Japanese, the Africans or the albinos.


Among the most representative characteristics of ethnic groups we can mention the following:

  • His physical features:
    • Skin color
    • Eye color
    • Hair color
    • Height and physical build
  • Its cultural traits:
    • His story
    • His tongue
    • Your form of organization
  • Their beliefs, customs and traditions:
    • Your religion
    • Clothing
    • Feeding
  • Artistic manifestation:
    • plastic arts
    • Musical Arts
    • Dramatic Arts
    • Architecture
    • Crafts
    • Popular literature
    • Tales, myth and legends


The importance of ethnic groups lies in the richness they bring to humanity with their diversity of cultures and because for each individual in the world it is important to know which ethnic group they come from, to know the reason for their culture, their way of acting, thinking before life as well as the reason for their distinctive physical features of their group as part of their identity.

Likewise, it is important to know other ethnic groups of the nation that we inhabit or of other nations to understand other views of the world related to groups of people who have different cultures and with different physical features from others. This knowledge about ethnic groups is very important to develop tolerance, cordial acceptance and respect for the other and thus avoid cases of xenophobia or violence against people who think differently from others.

Examples of ethnic groups by country

Below are different examples of ethnic groups by country. These are:


In the Spanish territory there are many ethnic groups. Among the most representative of Spanish origin, the following stand out:

  • Castilians
  • The Catalans
  • Galician
  • The basques


In Chile there are four more representative ethnic groups. These are:

  • Europeans: this group is made up mostly of:
    • The Spanish
    • The Italians
    • The Portuguese
    • The french
  • The Amerindians: made up of:
    • The Aymara
    • The Atacameño
    • The Kawésqar
    • The Kolla
    • The Mapuche
    • The Quechua
    • The Rapanui
    • The Yagán
  • Africans
  • Asians


In the Argentine territory there are more than 12 ethnic groups. The best known are:

  • Amerindians
  • Gauchos
  • Europeans: In this group are:
    • The Italians
    • The Spanish
    • The french
    • Germans
    • The Swiss
    • The Russians
  • The Arabs: In this group are:
    • Syrians
    • The Lebanese
    • Armenians
    • The Jews


In Peru, there are many ethnic groups. These can be grouped into:

  • Amerindians
    • The Quechuas
    • The Aymaras
    • The Arawaks
  • The mestizos
  • Europeans: this group is made up mostly of:
    • The Spanish
    • The Italians
    • The Portuguese
    • The french
  • The Africans
  • Asians
    • The japan


In the Colombian territory there are several ethnic groups. These are:

  • Amerindians
  • Afro-Colombians
  • Europeans: this group is made up mostly of:
    • The Spanish
    • The Italians
    • The Portuguese
    • The french
  • The raizales
  • The Rom or gypsies


In the Mexican territory there are many ethnic groups. The most representative are:

  • The indigenous: This group is made up of:
    • The Zapotecs
    • The mayans
    • The Nahuas
    • The Purépechas
    • The Mixtecos
    • The Yaquis
    • The Kikapúes
    • The Otomies
    • Others
  • Afro-descendants
  • The mestizos
  • Europeans: this group is made up mostly of:
    • The Spanish
    • The Italians
    • The Portuguese
    • The french
  • The Arabs: This group is made up of:
    • The Jews
    • The Muslims
  • Asians: This group is made up mostly of:
    • The japan
    • The Chinese


In the Ecuadorian territory, there are many ethnic groups. These are:

  • The indigenous: This group is made up of:
    • The Quichua
      • The Andean Quichuas
      • The Amazonian Quichuas
    • The mestizos
    • Europeans: this group is made up mostly of:
      • The Spanish
      • The Italians
      • The Portuguese
      • The french
    • Blacks
    • The mulattoes
    • Asians


In this Asian country, there are more than 55 ethnic groups originating from this nation. Some of them are:

  • The Han
  • The Zhuang
  • The Manchu
  • The Hui
  • The Miao
  • The Uyghurs
  • The Tujia
  • The Yi
  • The Mongols
  • The Tibetans
  • The Buyei
  • The Dong
  • The Yao

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